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Azerbaijan marks National Theater Day

National Theater Day

National Theater Day was solemnly marked at Azerbaijan Theatre Workers Union on March 10.

Prominent public and art figures, representatives of the Culture Ministry attended timed to the148 anniversary of the national theater.

Speaking at the event, the Culture Minister Anar Karimov noted that Azerbaijani theater art has a long history.

National Theater in Azerbaijan was created in the 1870s at the initiative of prominent playwright  Mirza Fatali Akhundov.

On March 10, 1873, Baku Real School performed the comedy “Adventure-vizier-khan Lankaran” by Mirza Fatali Akhundov.

Holidays, rituals, ceremonies, games and dances in Azerbaijan are rich in theatrical elements.

The Minister noted that prominent playwrights, actors and directors have played a great role in the formation of the national theater. Anar Karimov also noted an invaluable role of eminent cultural and public figures like Mirza Fatali Akhundov, Hasan bey Zardabi, Najaf bey Vazirov, Jalil Mammadguluzade,Jafar Jabbarli, Ilyas Efendiyev, Huseyn Arablinski, and many others in the formation and development of the national theater.

The Culture Minister said that Azerbaijani theater had entered a new stage after the appointment of People’s Artist of the USSR Adil Isgandarov as the chief director of the Azerbaijan State Drama Theater, which serves as the country’s leading theater. Moreover, theater figures like Mehdi Mammadov and Tofig Kazimov also contributed to the formation of the  new form  in the national theater.

The national liberation movement that began in the late 1980s, the events of January 20, 1990, the Khojaly genocide, and the occupation of 20 percent of Azerbaijani lands by Armenia also affected the theatrical process. The Irevan State Azerbaijan Drama Theater, Shusha State Musical Drama Theater, Aghdam State Drama Theater, Fuzuli State Drama Theater were expelled from  its native lands.

In 2020, Azerbaijan liberated all its territories from Armenian invaders, enabling these theaters to resume their activities on liberated territories.

“Formation of the legal and normative base of theatrical activity in Azerbaijan is also one of the important issues. The Law “On Theater and Theater Activity” (2006), the Order “On Development of Azerbaijan Theater Art” (2007), the State Program “Azerbaijan Theater in 2009-2019″and other documents signed by the President Ilham Aliyev shows a great attention by the state to the theater art in Azerbaijan and contributes to its development,” said Karimov.

The state policy in Azerbaijan aimed at promoting and defending multicultural values. The State Academic Russian Drama Theater, Gusar State Lezgi Drama Theater and Gakh State Georgian Drama Theater are successfully operating here.

“Holding international theater conferences, theater festivals, participation of a number of theaters in foreign festivals and tours, as well as membership in prestigious international organizations have further accelerated the integration of national theater into the world theater space, ” the Minister said.

“Today, the art of independent Azerbaijan, including theatrical art, which has gained great prestige on a global scale and has established strong economic, political and cultural cooperation with the world’s leading countries, is on the verge of a new stage of development. Since 2013, March 10 has been marked as the National Theater Day by the Order President Ilham Aliyev,” he added.

Then a group of cultural figures were awarded with medals.  Full member of the Azerbaijan National Academy of Sciences, rector of the Azerbaijan Academy of Arts, People’s Artist Omar Eldarov was admitted to the honorary membership of the Azerbaijan Theatre Workers Union.

By Laman Ismayilova

About Fidan Abdullayeva